7 Days, Come What May
Chapter I: The Invitations
Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke were sitting eating ramen in their usual spot at their usual restaurant when the Hokage of their village, Tsunade, came up to them. Sakura and Sasuke looked up in greeting at the Fifth as Naruto continued to eat his ramen, not noticing that someone had come over to their table.
"Hi," Sakura greeted her Hokage and smiled as Sasuke simply nodded his head in recognition.
Naruto noticed the woman standing in front of him at last.
"HI, HOOHADAY! (Hi, Tsunade)," he practically shouted with his mouth full of food.
"Naruto! Don't talk with your mouth full!" Sakura reprimanded and turned to look apologetically at the Hokage.
Tsunade smiled in reassurance to the pink haired girl then turned to Naruto.
"Naruto, your birthday's coming up in two days, isn't it?" Tsunade asked, smiling.
The blonde boy immediately swallowed his ramen. His eyes widened in excitement.
"Oh, YEA! How could I forget that! Yahoo! Hey, old hag-" Naruto suddenly stopped when he saw the murderous look on the Fifth's face. "Urrrm…I meant…BEAUTIFUL Tsunade-sama, don't tell me you came here just to give me a present?"
"About right, you stupid boy," she chuckled. "Since it's your birthday, I'm giving you a week off from your ninja missions."
"WHAT! But TSUNADE! The missions are fun!" the blonde protested.
Inside, Inner-Sakura was struggling hard. 'What! That baka! Missions are dangerous! You should count it a blessing to be able to REST from missions! BAKA!'
"Don't fret yet, stupid boy. I have fifteen tickets for you and your friends to go to the Konoha Hot Springs," she replied.
"Wow! Really, Tsunade-sama? The Konoha Hot Springs! But I thought it was so expensive to go there!" Sakura said excitedly.
Even Sasuke seemed a bit bewildered at the idea. The K.H.S. (Konoha Hot Springs) was famous across all the villages in this part. Even someone who seemed isolated from the world, like Sasuke, had heard, even a little bit, about it. Only the very wealthy ninja families could afford to go there very often.
"Well, apparently, I know the owner of the springs. She said that she wanted to thank you guys for helping her find her cat in one of your previous missions. So, I told her that your birthday was coming up and here she gives me fifteen K.H.S. tickets," the Fifth said as she pulled some orange colored tickets out of her pouch and handed them to Naruto.
Naruto received the tickets and looked down at them in astonishment. The orange tickets seemed to be made out of some special smooth parchment. At the top of the ticket was the spring's logo, which was the Konoha leaf symbol with a picture of a hot spring next to it. The middle of the ticket was labeled Konaha Hot Springs and under that, the room number for their room was written. The blonde looked up at Tsunade, beamed, and stood up and hugged her.
"Oooh THANK YOU soooo muchhhh you're SOOOOOO NICEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" Naruto said, smiling.
Tsunade chuckled again.
"Hey, stupid boy, don't go strangling me. I can't breathe. I gotta go now, I have more work to do," Tsunade said as Naruto released her, continuing to beam.
"So, Naruto, don't forget to invite fifteen people in two days, okay? The K.N.S. carriages will be waiting for you on the seventh. Have fun!" Tsunade reminded the blonde before walking off with a wave.
"So, Naruto, who're you gonna invite?" Sakura asked smiling sweetly. (Inner Sakura: 'Invite me! Meeeee! I wanna go to the K.H.S.! Naruto! Please! I wanna go!')
"You, of course, Sakura-chan!" Naruto replied, smiling back. (Inner Sakura: Yess! Yesssss! I'm SO good at this! I get to go!')
"How about Sasuke?" Sakura asked innocently. (Inner Sakura: Yes! Please let Sasuke go! We're gonna have a blastin' time!')
Naruto narrowed his eyes at Sasuke's direction as the black haired boy glared back. Eventually, Naruto sighed.
"Fine, Sasuke, you can go," Naruto said, fully expecting a big 'thank you' from the Uchiha.
"Who said I wanted to?" Sasuke retorted.
"WHAT! YOU DON'T WANNA GO TO THE FAMOUS K.H.S.! I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS! YOU'RE CRAZY!" Naruto could not believe that any person wouldn't want to go to the legendary hot springs.
Sakura could not believe it either.
"W-What! Sasuke-kun? You don't want to go?" Sakura stared at him, wondering for a moment how in the world had she come to like this guy.
"No," Sasuke simply replied.
"Fine!" Naruto stuck out his tongue. "There's tickets for OTHER people."
"S-Sasuke-kun! Come on, let's go! It's Naruto's birthday," Sakura emphasized. "A person only has a birthday once a year. Please?"
"Hn," goes Sasuke.
"Hn," goes Naruto.
Sakura sighed. (Inner Sakura: 'BAKA! BAKA GUYS! WHY CAN'T THEY EVER, EVER STOP FIGHTING! HOW DID I EVER LIKE SASUKE! I'M DOUBTING MYSELF! ARGH! I, SAKURA, WILL END THIS FIGHT LIKE IT NEVER HAPPENED!') She suddenly grabbed the tickets out of Naruto's hand and shoved one into each of the boys' hands.
"There, settled. You are both going," she stated. "And I will find twelve other people for your birthday party, Naruto, okay?"
Sakura smiled slightly at Naruto and got up from the table, leaving the two boys staring, amazed at her ability to stop their fight.
"WAIT UP, SAKURA-CHAN! It's MY birthday! I'll go hand out the invitations with you!" Naruto got up and he ran after her, leaving Sasuke alone at his table.
The Uchiha stared at the orange ticket in his hand and smirked. Konoha Hot Springs. Room 007, the fancy writing read.
"Fine," he murmured, slapped the money on the ramen table, and left.
"Hey, Sakura-chan! Wait up!" Naruto shouted as he ran up beside his pink-haired teammate.
Sakura turned around.
"Oh, Naruto! I was just gonna go help you hand out these K.H.S. tickets! You wanna come?" she asked.
"Who do you want to invite?"
"Hmm…well…" Naruto then spotted Gaara, Temari, and Kankurou walking on the other side of the road. "HEY GUYS! HI!"
The three sand ninja siblings looked over at Naruto and Sakura. While Naruto was waving giddily at them, Inner-Sakura was already beginning to panic. (Inner Sakura: 'What is he thinking! Waving at those scary sand people like that! My life is gonna be cut short someday because of his recklessness!') Suddenly, Naruto ran over to the threesome, leaving Sakura standing there open mouthed.
"Hey, guys! Long time, no see! What you guys been doin' here in Konoha?" Naruto greeted cheerily at them.
"We came here on a mission to deliver a document to the Fifth. We were just heading out," Temari replied, smiling slightly.
"Ohh, cool. You guys have any plans for this next week?" Naruto asked as Sakura came up behind him, still gaping.
"N-Naruto what are you doing…" Sakura stammered in fearful whisper.
"I'm inviting them to go to the Konoha Hot Springs with us!" he said cheerfully.
Gaara raised his eyebrows at the mention of the first class hot springs.
"The K.H.S.? Why?" Kankurou asked.
"It's my birthday! Wanna come?" Naruto gave them his biggest smile and pulled the orange tickets out of Sakura's hand.
He teasingly dangled the tickets in front of their faces. Temari and Kankurou looked at each other as if to decide whether to accept the offer or not.
"Yes, we'll come," Gaara answered for his siblings.
Temari and Kankurou gave each other weird looks again then shrugged. My brother's getting weirder and weirder each day, Kankurou thought.
"Great! Here are your tickets!" Naruto smiled again and handed them the tickets.
"N-Naruto! Are you sure about this!" Sakura poked him.
"Yea, sure, why?" Naruto, asked, confused.
"You have a problem with us being there?" Gaara asked, his face expressionless.
"N-No…of course not…" Sakura winced, cowering a little. (Inner Sakura: 'Of COURSE, I have a problem with you guys being there! WHAT IF YOU GET ANGRY ALL OF A SUDDEN AND SQUISH US ALL DEAD WITH SAND! OR I MIGHT DIE BECAUSE OF THAT FREAKY PUPPET KANKUROU HAS! OR THE FREAKISH FAN! AHHHHH!')
"Yes, of course Sakura-chan doesn't have a problem. Why would she? Anyway, see you guys in two days in front of my house! The K.H.S. carriage is coming to get us there," Naruto said.
"No need. We'll travel to the K.H.S. ourselves. We'll meet you there," Kankurou said, pocketing his ticket.
"Sure, sure. Well, Sakura-chan and I gotta go now! We gotta go invite other people to come! Bye!" Naruto shouted and ran past them, dragging Sakura along with him as she murmured an inaudible 'bye'.
Joyce: So...what do you guys think? Reviews, please:D Thank you very much.